Could you be lactose intolerant?

Apr 14, 2014
Posted by: Ben

Lactose intolerance, not to be mistaken for a milk allergy (which concerns the immune system), is when one struggles to digest the lactose in foods containing dairy such as milk. This normally results in side effects such as bloating, gas and stomach aches.

Not everyone with lactose intolerance will experience the same symptoms and severity will also vary from person to person. For some, any dairy can cause a reaction but for others, foods like cheese may present very few issues.

Depending on ones ethnicity, the likelihood of developing lactose intolerance differs. This is important to note as such an intolerance is generally genetic although this is not always the case. On occasion, if the stomach lining is impaired (as a result of illness) lactose intolerance can occur. A premature baby may have reduced amounts of lactose and thus, for a short while, display the marks of this.

Once it has been determined that one is lactose intolerance (it is recommended this comes from a GP although one may notice they have trouble digesting lactose long before a doctor verifies it) it is vital that one does not simply eradicate all dairy from their diet as this may lead to calcium deficiencies. Instead, one should work out what foods that can and cannot have as not all dairy foods will induce the same effects. For example, milk is often one of the  worst dairy products but with food, may be acceptable. Hard cheeses tend to be less trouble for the body to digest.

There are also many alternative foods for those with lactose intolerance. Initially, one may feel overwhelmed at the prospect of having to overhaul their diet and avoid foods like butter, bread and cakes. However, there are many replacements such as soya milk, homemade bread, nuts and potatoes. Individuals should also be careful to consume non-dairy food that contains calcium like broccoli and dried fruit so reduce the risk of a calcium deficiency. At Total Diet Food, we can provide a meal plan for those who have lactose intolerance that removes all the guess work from this new lifestyle.

 Therefore, whilst originally lactose intolerance may seem like a scary prospect, it is relatively uncomplicated to live with if one has enough knowledge of what foods they should personally abstain from eating or eat more of.

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